"Four and a half stars
University of Indianapolis Faculty Artist Series; Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Performing Center; Oct. 22
I have to express my admiration and respect for whoever created this program. We were treated to a slew of modern works, something I wish we could hear more often in Indianapolis. John Berners, composition faculty member at UIndy, wrote Bela’s Village, a tribute to Bela Bartok. The woodwind quintet for this earthy, interesting and enjoyable piece played well as an ensemble. We were treated to many great works by Darius Milhaud and Walter Piston, all performed with precision and intensity, but it was George Crumb’s Madrigals, Book I that really caused me to admire the staff for this concert. This work for soprano, vibraphone and double bass was filled with all sorts of sonorities that we aren’t used to hearing — like mallets on strings, and vocalizations from all the musicians. A piece like this stretches your ears and your mind. And as “odd” as some might call a piece like this, it is without doubt music, and is worthy of being listened to and enjoyed — much like most other modern works. I applaud the UIndy music department for this recital, and implore them, and other local college music departments, to perform works like this more often.